Join us as we celebrate the release of Lawrence Reid Bechtel’s new novel, That Dazzling Sun. Book sales and a signing will follow. This event will be free and open to the public.
That Dazzling Sun, the second book in the historical Tinsmith’s Apprentice trilogy, continues the vivid coming-of-age story of Isaac Granger, one of Thomas Jefferson’s slaves, begun in Lawrence Bechtel’s first novel, A Partial Sun. In this second book, Rachel Bringhouse, the tinsmith’s daughter and Isaac’s tutor, sails for England to work alongside the famous social activist and poet Hannah More and writes to Isaac about her experiences. He writes back with help from a cook’s helper and aspiring poet, Ovid, while dealing with a host of difficulties. When an exuberant Rachel returns from England and Isaac’s nemesis Daniel Shady reappears, the book rises to its crescendo. Isaac must at last bargain with Mr. Jefferson on his own terms.
Lawrence Reid Bechtel was born and raised in the Chicago area. In the tradition of Mark Twain, he spent several years gathering “life experiences,” among them backpacking in British Columbia, in Alaska, and on Vancouver Island, and building boats with Cape Foulweather Boat Company on the Oregon coast. Eventually, he settled in Southwest Virginia, married and raised a family, and earned an MA at Virginia Tech in 1985. That fall, he was hired as an instructor and wrote his first novel, The Favorite. In addition to writing and teaching, he turned his attention to sculpture in 1990, eventually earning significant public and private commissions. It was from doing portrait sculptures of Thomas Jefferson and one of Jefferson’s slaves, Isaac, that he was inspired to write the Tinsmith’s Apprentice trilogy. Lawrence is in the early stages of writing the final book in the series, A Slow Eclipse.